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Teeth (2007)

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Still a stranger to her own body, a high school student discovers she has a physical advantage when she becomes the object of male violence.
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4,336 ( 511)
2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jess Weixler ... Dawn
John Hensley ... Brad
Josh Pais ... Dr. Godfrey
Hale Appleman ... Tobey
Lenny von Dohlen ... Bill
Vivienne Benesch Vivienne Benesch ... Kim
Ashley Springer ... Ryan
Laila Liliana Garro ... Gwen (as Julia Garro)
Nicole Swahn Nicole Swahn ... Melanie
Adam Wagner Adam Wagner ... Phil
Hunter Ulvog Hunter Ulvog ... Little Brad
Ava Ryen Plumb ... Little Dawn
Trent Moore Trent Moore ... Mr. Vincent
Mike Yager Mike Yager ... Elliot
Nathan Parsons ... Soda Spritzer
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Storyline

Dawn grows up in the shadow of a nuclear power plant. In high school, while her biology class studies evolution, she realizes she may have a hidden curse, an "adaptation." She lives with her mom, step-father, and hard-edged step-brother. She likes Tobey, a guy at school, and he likes her. She takes a pledge to remain chaste until marriage, so they date in groups, watch G-rated films, and don't kiss, but the power of teen hormones is great, so temptation beckons. Dawn has an admirer in Ryan, and when when things have an unexpected twist with Tobey, she turns to Ryan for help. Will he be her mythical hero and rescue her? Or can she find her way as her own hero, turning the curse into an asset? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every rose has its thorns.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing sequences involving sexuality and violence, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 April 2008 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

Zubi See more »

Filming Locations:

Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,521, 20 January 2008

Gross USA:

$347,578

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,340,110
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pierpoline Films, Teeth See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When speaking to her step brother brad, Dawn is seen in a T-shirt with a unicorn decal on it. Unicorns represent both purity and virginity major themes in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Dawn is 'checked' at the clinic, she flees the room screaming after 'biting' off the gynecologist's fingers. As she opens the door she's displaying very visible underwear lines through her surgical gown. Given the antics displayed, she's not supposed to be wearing any underwear. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bill: Hey Brad, don't splash your sister.
See more »

Crazy Credits

No man was harmed in the making of this film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vital Signs (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Something to Change
Performed by Immortal Dominion
Composed by Ray Smith, Gabe Romero, Brian Villers, Ben Huntwork
Courtesy of Immortal Dominion / Hapi Skratch Records / Fist Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A good idea... that lacks bite!
15 June 2008 | by luke-346See all my reviews

Castration in cinema is a rarity and normally not a topic that draws audiences, but Director Mitchell Lichstenstein's Teeth is very different to the previous genre offerings that have tackled castration as both an anxiety and fear. The film begins with two step siblings playing "you show me yours I'll show you mine" in a paddling pool, only for Brad (John Hensley) to mysteriously sever his finger. The truth of the matter is Dawn (Jess Weixler) has a mutated condition, referred to in mythology as Vagina Dentata, thus explaining Brad's bleeding finger. The film immediately cuts to twelve years later and Dawn is now the prominent figure of a chastity group, thus conveniently explaining why she would still be unaware of her condition.

As the film progresses Dawn becomes curious of her body and is forced to confront her mutation during a rape. She inadvertently castrates her attacker and upon realising what she has done is equally as horrified. The man, bleeding profusely, flees the scene leaving her distraught. The scene, and several of the ones to come, are horrific and if watching with others you will notice that the males in the audience will be the ones wincing and cross-legged. Teeth is a film that reverses the predisposed stereotype of a female victim meeting her doom via the means of a phallic shaped object, usually a knife. Penetration, it seems, is a favoured form of execution in many horror films but here it is dismemberment by the means of castration. Having said this, it should be noted that Dawn is not a character that revels in her "ability" she is horrified upon learning her condition and seeks to discover more. She doesn't wield her power, and neither is she bent on revenge – unlike the films Carrie, I Spit on Your Grave or Baise Moi. In Teeth is a female character that has yet to determine what's best for her, only the final reels of her dealing with her step brother hints at what she has become or what she will be become - it could also be alluding to a sequel. Teeth struggles to establish itself, yes we know it's a horror, but it feels more tender and heartfelt than perhaps it should. Audiences are likely to feel compassion for Dawn and empathise with her condition, more than perhaps the makers were intending. In doing so the film amounts to tender portrayal of young girls' journey in dealing with sexual awareness.

Ultimately Teeth approaches male castration in probably the most primitive of fashions. It retells the perpetuated myth of the fear of the unknown to men, the vagina, and the mysteries that can lurk in its depths. It is a myth that has been told and re-told for generations and through civilisations, examples of it can be found in Greek mythology and artifacts that date back thousands of years. Feminists believe that its very existence is verification for an innate fear of women. For many psychoanalysts male castration anxiety is a favoured topic of exploration and investigation, some even cite it as being at the very foundations of all horror. Because the film tackles such a subject, and in this manner, it has raised some eyebrows as some critics believe the film to be derogative of men. This is due to it depicting them either craving sex, being violent, weak or as focal points of humiliation. Admittedly there are no strong male characters in this film, but give me a pen and paper and I'll a write a very long list of all the films in which there are no strong female characters, most of which will be horrors. The fact that the male is the victim in Teeth merely facilitates its story, it being about a toothed vagina.

Many of the film-making aspects of the film are, if anything, competent. Directorially though, the film is enjoyable. The camera doesn't shy away from the severed members as they fall to floor and nor does it restrain from showing the blood. One scene that illustrates this and through doing so sticks in my mind is the young man that, after being castrated during sex, ejaculates blood from his messy stump. Any mediocre horror will have a scene that plays on in the audiences mind after the end credits and for Teeth, it is that one.

Despite the fact I welcome Teeth to a genre littered with misogynistic films and weak female characters, I can't help but feel that it could have been better. For me Teeth fails living up to the promise of its premise, it is not the intelligent horror that some may have hoped for as it neglects to investigate or explore the myths. Instead it opts for a modern rendition tainted with teenage angst. Overall the film meanders along at slow pace, at 90 minutes in the length the first castration occurs almost 40mins in, and there are only 3 in total. I like the fact that the film is reactionary to the recent spate of torture porn films, but it is not as shocking and for some probably not as scary. Dawn is an interesting character and the manner in which her journey of discovery is told is also interesting, but that's it. Teeth is just a fun horror not to be taken too seriously, which is a shame because in doing so (pardon the pun) it lacks any real bite.


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